Periodically, I like to take a look at new figures that are available for pre-order. This isn’t intended to be an exhaustive list, but rather a selection of new releases that I personally find interesting or notable.
I organized the last handful of preorder roundups by month of release, but delays are so common these days I don’t see much value in continuing to do so, so this list is simply ordered alphabetically by manufacturer.
Alter – 1/7 Asuka ~Inochika ver.~
I found Senran Kagura Burst for the 3DS game to be sufficiently enjoyable that I did not regret the purchase, but the game also felt low-budget and mechanically shallow as a brawler. Similarly, the first manga volume was not particularly memorable or titillating, even as an ecchi series. Despite such shortcomings, I’ve been eager to see the rollout of new figure designs based on the franchise’s heroines. There have already been quite a few, but none have really hit the mark for me, so I was excited to see Alter jump into the fray with this swimsuit Asuka. Her curves are quite pleasantly sculpted and I like the mildly troubled expression she wears as a foil to the legions of happy or, at most, neutral countenances so common in the industry. On the other hand, I have a checkered history with swimsuit figures, which gives me pause whenever I consider a figure such as this one. Still undecided.
Alter – 1/8 Aty
Here’s a good example of a figure I was just sure I would order around the time she was unveiled. Yet here we are, months later, and it still hasn’t happened. Alter’s Aty is on my radar for her dynamic pose, pleasant colors, and the fact that she carries a weapon (always a plus). Aty’s a megane character, but she can be displayed without her glasses, which I greatly appreciate as I really don’t care for the megane look. This is ironic in itself as my vision is really quite bad and I have to wear either glasses or contacts at all times; take a guess which one I prefer. 😛
Alter – 1/6 The Muse of Range Murata
Alter. Range Murata. 1/6 scale. Minimally-clothed and looking back at us over an immaculately sculpted backside. What more could we ask for in a bishoujo figure? This was the easiest preorder decision I’ve had in months. 😀
Amakuni – 1/8 Shimakaze
Anyone paying attention to the recent WonFes coverage will know that KanColle fever has hit the bishoujo figure industry hard and this Shimakaze from Amakuni was among the first wave of figures from the browser-based game to roll out. I looked at the GSC and QuesQ prototypes and decided that I liked Amakuni’s take on Shimakaze the best. Plus, she’s a Hobby Japan exclusive and I didn’t want to risk paying inflated secondary market prices by trying to pick this figure up after release as HJ exclusives rarely drop in value.
Good Smile Company – 1/8 Dragon Nest Sorceress
The Sorceress here is a bit of an odd duck in that she was released to the Chinese market exclusively for a good while and GSC made no commitments to issuing the figure elsewhere, much to the consternation of collectors everywhere else. That’s all water under the bridge now as this lovely design is now available for preorder as a standard release. I’ve been eagerly anticipating this release since the 2013 winter WonFes, so I didn’t hesitate to submit my preorder.
Kotobukiya – 1/8 Dark Angel Olivia
Kotobukiya really stole the show at last year’s summer WonFes with this elaborate Rage of Bahamut heroine, Olivia. The detail all over the figure is seriously impressive in a way that I didn’t know Kotobukiya was capable of previously. Other collectors apparently agree, as she was sold out at most shops within a couple days of preorders opening. Fortunately, I didn’t waffle or procrastinate with Olivia and got my order in early.
Max Factory – 1/7 Cerberus
Like Olivia (above), Cerberus is a Rage of Bahamut girl. She’s not as ornate as a figure and I don’t particularly like the cutesy dog-muff things covering her hands, but everything else about her is a visual delight and I’m confident that Max Factory will deliver an excellent final product. I had been looking for a figure to use my $15 store credit from the Crunchyroll Black Friday deal and Cerberus conveniently provided that opportunity.
Max Factory – 1/7 Hatsune Miku ~7th Dragon 2020~
Miku figures are hardly a rarity these days, so when I new one comes out I tend to greet them with studied indifference, which tends to give way to genuine disinterest shortly thereafter. Such was the case when I learned that Max Factory had reworked the now-iconic pop diva into the stylings of DS RPG 7th Dragon 2020. Yet somewhere over the intervening months between then and now, I found myself with the recurring thought that I would much rather have this Miku in my collection than the Volks Miku which has been sitting on my shelf since 2009. I often have a hard time letting go of old figures even when they’re not my favorites, so any time I can identify a figure I’d feel willing to give up in an even trade then that’s a deal I want to see made. Maybe not an even trade monetarily, but in terms of shelf space. Anyway, you get the idea. 😉
MegaHouse – 1/7 Dragon’s Crown Amazon
Buried under all the controversy surrounding the artwork for Dragon’s Crown, I found a delightful side-scrolling beat-em-up game in the spirit of old favorites like Capcom’s Knight’s of the Round, King of Dragons, and D&D arcade games. The Amazon here was very much at the center of the aforementioned uproar as she features highly exaggerated proportions–her breasts, hips, and buttocks in particular–and the now (in)famous chainmail bikini. All of which are things I like, naturally. It doesn’t hurt that the Amazon was my favorite class to actually play in-game. I don’t currently have the Amazon on order, but I’m patiently waiting, and hoping, for a Crunchyroll daily deal to roll around like it did for the Elf (below).
MegaHouse – 1/7 Dragon’s Crown Elf
Unlike her sister-in-game, the Amazon, the Dragon’s Crown Elf is marked by an understated physique and considerably more clothing. She also upholds the familiar trope that elves must be good with bows, as that is her weapon of choice in-game. The Elf’s modesty may act as a counterweight to the audacity of the Amazon and Sorceress, but she’s still fetching in her own right and MegaHouse has done well to select a fine action pose appropriate for the star of a beat-em-up. I ordered the Elf when Crunchyroll had her discounted to $74 as their deal of the day and padded the cart enough to qualify for free shipping, which I think will prove to be a pretty good deal for this figure unless she hits the bargain bin after release.
Orchid Seed – 1/8 Mammon
My history with the Seven Deadly Sins figures has been a bit weird. I have Leviathan and Lucifer and I’m quite happy with both purchases, but I really wasn’t all that enthusiastic for either of those figures around the time preorders opened. It’s much the same with Mammon here. She’s ridiculously well-endowed and sports a pair of equally absurdly low-cut panties, along with a basket of rather mean-looking vegetables. All of which are good things, but… I’m hoping I’ll find my enthusiasm for this figure somewhere between now and release as I’ve ordered Mammon more on the past performance of the 7-Sins figure lineup and as a guard against secondary market inflation than on the virtues (hah!) of this figure alone, and I’m not sure that’s a good thing. 😕
Phat Company – 1/8 Swamp Witch Metallica
The Witch and the Hundred Knight features some gorgeous artwork. I was a bit bummed to learn that you don’t actually play as the witch in the game, but the impending release of this brilliantly detailed and colorful figure from Phat Company is some consolation. This is my first time ordering anything from them, so I’m not sure what to expect. I can only hope they don’t fall too far from their GSC and Max Factory brethren in the quality department and deliver a final product that lives up to the promises of this impressive prototype.